Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cable Makes A Rookie Mistake

I’d say it was his 1st big mistake as a rookie head coach, but I’m sure some one will bring up breaking jaws, or sticking to long with Kwame, or taking a job in Oakland. But the move that Cable made last week shows that he is new at this whole scheduling thing.

There is a reason that the vast majority of teams broke camp about a week prior to the Raiders leaving Napa. Most teams want to simulate a game week in the days leading up to their 3rd preseason game. Installation, game planning and walkthroughs, all done in the same manner as what will happen in the regular season.

Cable may have run practices, and installed a game plan the same way that he will during the season, but there was one major difference. The players didn’t go home to their wives, kids, girlfriend and strippers each night. Instead they were sequestered in Napa at the Marriott.

Then, following the final walkthrough, Cable released the inmates from the asylum. If you have ever gone through a football camp, you know the feeling of freedom you have after being under lock and key for weeks. Sure you have a couple hours a day to yourself each day, but for the most part you are little more than a prisoner, one who has to work out until you puke.

So it was not the least bit surprising Saturday that the Raiders looked and played like they had hangovers. Chances are many of them did. As noted by recent Raider addition Greg Ellis, who chastised his teammates for being unprofessional.

True it was unprofessional, and lead to being embarrassed on televisions all across the county, but it should have been far from unexpected. This is one of the youngest teams in the NFL, and has little on field leadership. Cable’s scheduling of camp set them up to fail, and fail they did, in a most embarrassing fashion.

One can only hope that Cable knew exactly what he was doing; after all he has been around football his entire adult life, as both a player and coach. Maybe, just Maybe, having the players embarrass themselves was the point. It’s better that they do so in the 3rd preseason game, than in week 1 on national TV, as they have in 3 of the last 4 years.

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